Acceptable Use Policy


Purpose

 

The Board supports the use of the Internet and other computer networks in the Quakertown Community School District's instructional program in order to facilitate learning and teaching through interpersonal communications access to information, research and collaboration.

 

The use of the district’s technology resources is for appropriate school-related educational and operational purposes and for the performance of job duties consistent with the educational mission of the district. Use for educational purposes is defined as use that is consistent with the curriculum adopted by the district, as well as the varied instructional needs, learning styles, abilities and developmental levels of students. All use for any purpose must comply with this policy and all other applicable codes of conduct, policies, procedures, and rules and must not cause damage to the district’s technology resources.

 

All employees and students are responsible for the appropriate and lawful use of the district’s technology resources. This policy is intended to ensure that all users continue to enjoy access to the district’s technology resources and that such resources are utilized in an appropriate manner and for legitimate purposes.

 

Authority

 

The electronic information available to staff/students does not imply endorsement of the content by the Quakertown Community School District, nor does the school district guarantee the accuracy of information received on the Internet. The school district shall not be responsible for any information that may be lost, damaged or unavailable when using the network or for any information that is retrieved via the Internet.

 

The school district shall not be responsible for any unauthorized charges or fees resulting from access to the Internet.

 

The district’s technology resources are the property of the district. The district provides these resources for educational and operational purposes as stated herein and are not provided as a public access service or to provide a public forum.

 

The school district reserves the right, but not the duty, to monitor, track, log, access and report all aspects and use of its computer information, technology, and related systems. The school district reserves these same rights with regards to any device that utilizes the school district communications network and peripherals.

 

All email sent and received through school district email accounts are the property of the school district, and the school district reserves the right to monitor all email/Internet usage at any time.

 

The Board establishes that network use is a privilege, not a right; inappropriate, unauthorized and illegal use will result in cancellation of those privileges and appropriate disciplinary action. All users of the school district network must submit a signed (paper or electronic) copy of this Acceptable Use Policy to the Technology Department prior to using the network and accessing school district network resources.[1][2][3][4][5]

 

Delegation of Responsibility

 

Every staff member/student has a responsibility to use the school district's electronic network in a productive and ethical manner.

 

Staff/Students have the responsibility to respect and protect the rights of every other user in the school district and on the Internet.

 

Guidelines

 

Network accounts will be used only by the authorized owner of the account for its authorized purpose. The account owner is responsible for all activity generated by his/her account. All communications and information accessible via the network should be assumed to be the private property of the school district and shall not be disclosed. Network users shall respect the privacy of other users on the system.

 

Users are required to immediately report any violations or suspicious activities to the Director of Technology.

 

General Prohibitions

 

The following uses of district technology resources are prohibited:

  1. Use of technology resources to violate the law, facilitate illegal activity, or to encourage others to do so.
     
  2. Use of technology resources to violate any other district policy.
     
  3. Use of technology resources to engage in any intentional act which might threaten the health, safety, or welfare of any person or persons.
     
  4. Use of technology resources to cause, or threaten to cause harm to others or damage to their property.
     
  5. Use of technology resources to bully, or to communicate terroristic threats, discriminatory remarks, or hate.
     
  6. Use of technology resources to communicate words, photos, videos, or other depictions that are obscene, indecent, vulgar, rude, profane, or that advocate illegal drug use.
     
  7. Use of technology resources to create, access, or to distribute obscene, profane, lewd, vulgar, pornographic, harassing, or terroristic materials, firearms, or drug paraphernalia.
     
  8. Use of technology resources to attempt to interfere with or disrupt district technology systems, networks, services, or equipment including, but not limited to, the propagation of computer “viruses” and “worms”, Trojan Horse and trapdoor program codes.
     
  9. Altering or attempting to alter other users’ or system files, system security software, system or component settings, or the systems themselves, without authorization.
     
  10. The attempted physical harm or attempted destruction of district technology resources.
     
  11. Use of technology resources in a manner that jeopardizes the security of the district’s technology resources, or in a manner that attempts to circumvent any system security measures.
     
  12. Use of technology resources to intentionally obtain or modify files, passwords, and/or data belonging to other users or to the district.
     
  13. Use that conceals or attempts to conceal a user’s identity, including the use of anonymizers, or the impersonation of another user.
     
  14. Unauthorized access, interference, possession, or distribution of confidential or private information.
     
  15. Using technology resources to send any district information to another party, except in the ordinary course of business as necessary or appropriate for the advancement of the district’s business or educational interests.
     
  16. Use of technology resources to commit plagiarism.
     
  17. Installing, loading, or running software programs, applications, or utilities not explicitly authorized by the district technology staff.
     
  18. Installing unauthorized computer hardware, peripheral devices, network hardware, or system hardware onto technology resources.
     
  19. Copying district software without express authorization from a member of the district’s technology staff.
     
  20. Use of technology resources for commercial purposes.
     
  21. Use of technology resources for political lobbying or campaigning, not including student elections (e.g. student government, club officers, homecoming queen, etc.).
     
  22. Use of district technology resources to tether or otherwise connect to a non-district owned device to access an unfiltered and/or unmonitored internet connection.
     
  23. The use of proxies or other means to bypass internet content filters and monitoring.
     
  24. The use of technology resources to gamble.
     
  25. Unauthorized access into a restricted system or changing settings or access rights to a restricted system or account.
     
  26. The use of encryption software that has not been previously approved by the district.
     
  27. Sending unsolicited mass-email messages, also known as spam.
     
  28. Scanning the district’s technology resources for security vulnerabilities.

Security

 

System security is protected through the use of passwords. Failure to adequately protect or update passwords could result in unauthorized access to personal or school district files. To protect the integrity of the system, the following guidelines shall be followed:

  1. Employees shall not reveal their school district data systems passwords to another individual.
     
  2. Employee passwords to school district data systems are required to be changed every ninety (90) days or sooner.
     
  3. Users are not to use a computer that has been logged-in under another user's name.
     
  4. Any user identified as a security risk or having a history of problems with other computer systems may be denied access to the network.
     
  5. Internal requests for access to data systems that contain confidential information must be approved by the Superintendent or his/her designee.
     
  6. In the event that nonschool district personnel need to access the school district’s network or data systems, documented permission must be granted by the Superintendent or his/her designee; and the authorized individual accessing the network and/or data system(s) must sign the school district’s Acceptable Use Policy.

Safety

 

To the greatest extent possible, users of the network will be protected from harassment or unwanted or unsolicited communication. Any network user who receives threatening or unwelcome communications shall report such immediately to a teacher or administrator. Network users shall not reveal personal information to other users on the network, including chat rooms, email, Internet, etc.

 

Any school district computer/server utilized by students and staff shall be equipped with Internet blocking/filtering software.

 

Internet safety measures include, but are not limited to, the following:[6][7]

  1. Control of access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web.
     
  2. Safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications.
     
  3. Prevention of unauthorized online access by minors, including “hacking” and other unlawful activities.
     
  4. Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors.
     
  5. Restriction of minors’ access to materials harmful to them.
     
  6. The school district will educate all students about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and responses.

Consequences for Inappropriate Use

 

The network user shall be responsible for damages to the equipment, systems, and software resulting from deliberate or willful acts.[8]

 

Illegal use of the network; intentional deletion or damage to files of data belonging to others; copyright violations or theft of services may be reported to the appropriate legal authorities for possible prosecution.

 

General rules for behavior and communications apply when using the Internet, in addition to the stipulations of this policy. Loss of access and other disciplinary actions may be consequences for inappropriate use.

 

Vandalism will result in cancelation of access privileges. Vandalism is defined as any malicious attempt to harm or destroy data of another user, Internet or other networks. This includes but is not limited to the uploading or creation of computer viruses.

 

Copyright

 

The illegal use of copyrighted software is prohibited. Any data uploaded to or downloaded from the network shall be subject to "fair use" guidelines as defined by the copyright law.[9][10]

 

Limitations of Liability

 

The district makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the service it is providing through its various technology resources. The district is not responsible, and will not be responsible, for any damages, including loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, missed deliveries, or service interruptions. Use of any information obtained through the district’s technology resources is at the user’s own risk.


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